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1173 A Novel Approach for Treatment of T-Cell Malignancies: Targeting T-Cell Receptor Vβ Families

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 625. Lymphoma: Pre-Clinical—Chemotherapy and Biologic Agents: Poster I
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Biological, antibodies, Therapies, CAR-Ts, immunotherapy
Saturday, December 5, 2020, 7:00 AM-3:30 PM

Jie Wang, MD, MS1, Katarzyna Urbanska, PhD2*, Prannda Sharma3*, Mathilde Poussin3*, Reza Nejati, MD4*, Lauren Shaw3*, Megan S. Lim, MD, PhD5, Stephen J. Schuster, MD5 and Daniel Powell Jr., PhD6*

1Duke University, Durham, NC
2Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Philadelphia, PA
3University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
4Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
5Lymphoma Program, Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
6Center for Cellular Immunotherapies, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Background: Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCL) encompass a highly heterogeneous group of T-cell malignancies and are generally associated with a poor prognosis. Combination chemotherapy results in consistently poorer outcomes for T-cell lymphomas compared with B-cell lymphomas.1 There is an urgent clinical need to develop novel approaches to treatment of PTCL. While CD19- and CD20-directed immunotherapies have been successful in the treatment of B-cell malignancies, T-cell malignancies lack suitable immunotherapeutic targets. Brentuximab Vedotin, a CD30 antibody-drug conjugate, is not applicable to PTCL subtypes which do not express CD30.2 Broadly targeting pan-T cell markers is predicted to result in extensive T-cell depletion and clinically significant immune deficiency; therefore, a more tumor-specific antigen that primarily targets the malignant T-cell clone is needed. We reasoned that since malignant T cells are clonal and express the same T-cell receptor (TCR) in a given patient, and since the TCR β chain in human α/β TCRs can be grouped into 24 functional Vβ families targetable by monoclonal antibodies, immunotherapeutic targeting of TCR Vβ families would be an attractive strategy for the treatment of T-cell malignancies.

Methods: We developed a flexible approach for targeting TCR Vβ families by engineering T cells to express a CD64 chimeric immune receptor (CD64-CIR), comprising a CD3ζ T cell signaling endodomain, CD28 costimulatory domain, and the high-affinity Fc gamma receptor I, CD64. T cells expressing CD64-CIR are predicted to be directed to tumor cells by Vβ-specific monoclonal antibodies that target tumor cell TCR, leading to T cell activation and induction of tumor cell death by T cell-mediated cytotoxicity.

Results: This concept was first evaluated in vitro using cell lines. SupT1 T-cell lymphoblasts, which do not express a native functioning TCR, were stably transduced to express a Vβ12+ MART-1 specific TCR, resulting in a Vβ12 TCR expressing target T cell line.3 Vβ family specific cytolysis was confirmed by chromium release assays using co-culture of CD64 CIR transduced T cells with the engineered SupT1-Vβ12 cell line in the presence of Vβ12 monoclonal antibody. Percent specific lysis was calculated as (experimental - spontaneous lysis / maximal - spontaneous lysis) x 100. Controls using no antibody, Vβ8 antibody, and untransduced T cells did not show significant cytolysis (figure A). Next, the Jurkat T cell leukemic cell line, which expresses a native Vβ8 TCR, was used as targets in co-culture. Again, Vβ family target specific cytolysis was achieved in the presence of CD64 CIR T cells and Vβ8, but not Vβ12 control antibody.

Having demonstrated Vβ family specific cytolysis in vitro using target T cell lines, we next evaluated TCR Vβ family targeting in vivo. Immunodeficient mice were injected with SupT1-Vβ12 or Jurkat T cells with the appropriate targeting Vβ antibody, and either CD64 CIR T cells or control untransduced T cells. The cell lines were transfected with firefly luciferase and tumor growth was measured by bioluminescence. The CD64 CIR T cells, but not untransduced T cells, in conjunction with the appropriate Vβ antibody, successfully controlled tumor growth (figure B).

Our results provide proof-of-concept that TCR Vβ family specific T cell-mediated cytolysis is feasible, and informs the development of novel immunotherapies that target TCR Vβ families in T-cell malignancies. Unlike approaches that target pan-T cell antigens, this approach is not expected to cause substantial immune deficiency and could lead to a significant advance in the treatment of T-cell malignancies including PTCL.


1. Coiffier B, Brousse N, Peuchmaur M, et al. Peripheral T-cell lymphomas have a worse prognosis than B-cell lymphomas: a prospective study of 361 immunophenotyped patients treated with the LNH-84 regimen. The GELA (Groupe d’Etude des Lymphomes Agressives). Ann Oncol Off J Eur Soc Med Oncol. 1990;1(1):45-50.

2. Horwitz SM, Advani RH, Bartlett NL, et al. Objective responses in relapsed T-cell lymphomas with single agent brentuximab vedotin. Blood. 2014;123(20):3095-3100.

3. Hughes MS, Yu YYL, Dudley ME, et al. Transfer of a TCR Gene Derived from a Patient with a Marked Antitumor Response Conveys Highly Active T-Cell Effector Functions. Hum Gene Ther. 2005;16(4):457-472.

Disclosures: Lim: Seattle Genetics: Honoraria; EUSA: Honoraria; USCAP: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Schuster: Novartis, Genentech, Inc./ F. Hoffmann-La Roche: Research Funding; AlloGene, AstraZeneca, BeiGene, Genentech, Inc./ F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Juno/Celgene, Loxo Oncology, Nordic Nanovector, Novartis, Tessa Therapeutics: Consultancy, Honoraria.

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